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Should I quit my job if I am unhappy? 4 things to consider before you make the jump

Should I quit my job if I am unhappy?

I’m confused; you said it was a job and didn’t like it! So that’s what a job is.

We have likely all had a job or at least parts of jobs that have made us think or say outload “I’m not happy in my job”.

Even good jobs, managers, colleagues and tasks can turn sour after a while.

So, should you quit if you find yourself in a job that is making you unhappy?

You need to start working on your GAME PLAN – out of this situation and into the life you want.

Read on to hear how you can start to plan to move out of a job making you unhappy and into one you love.

Should I quit my job if I am unhappy
Should I quit my job if I am unhappy?

I’m Unhappy in My Job: What Should I Do?

Feeling trapped in a cycle of dread every morning?

You’re not alone. Many people find themselves in a situation where they’re not happy with their job.

The feeling can be overwhelming, leaving you anxious and miserable as you clock in day after day.

But before you throw in the towel, let’s explore some steps and solutions that could turn things around.

Assess where you are and what needs to change

So, you presumably know what you don’t want.

Firstly, be honest with yourself. Is it the job, your boss, the money, or the environment making you unhappy? Sometimes, the reasons for being unhappy in your job are not as obvious as they seem.

Take a few minutes to list the factors contributing to your dissatisfaction. This could range from poor management to a lack of career growth opportunities.

The ingredients of these will be specific to your situation, but they made include one or more of these

  • Direction of the organisation
  • Culture of the organisation or teams
  • Your manager/s
  • Your colleagues
  • The nature of the work, boring, tedious, repetitive, physically or mentally tiring.
  • Limited scope for growth in the current role, team or organisation.

When you assess what the things are that are making you unhappy, they may be one or a combination.

If it’s a combination, it may be hard to solve where you are, but you also need to be careful not to jump into the same problem in a different organisation.

Communicate Your Concerns

If you’ve identified specific issues, such as feeling undervalued or overworked, it’s time to have a chat with your boss.

I’m not happy at my job is a statement that needs to be communicated clearly and professionally. Prepare for the conversation by jotting down your concerns and possible solutions.

Remember, your boss can’t read your mind; you have to be the one to initiate change.

Explore Other Avenues

If talking to your boss doesn’t yield positive results, or if you find that you’re just not a good fit for your current role, it might be time to consider other options.

Update your CV, reach out to your network, and start applying for jobs that align with your skills and interests.

Unhappy in my job, what should I do? Sometimes the answer is as simple as seeking a new opportunity that better suits your needs.

Take Action

Finally, don’t let fear or sloth hold you back. If you’ve tried all the above steps and still find yourself unhappy in your job, it’s time to make a move.

Whether it’s pursuing a new career path or taking some time off to reevaluate your life goals, taking action is the key to breaking free from a job that no longer serves you.

That’s why it’s essential to understand what needs to change where you work but also possibly yourself.

This way, you might well be able to figure out whether quitting is the best option.

Figure out what a good job looks like

A good job might well include

  • Independence: the ability to control more of what you do
  • Evident respect from your highers and colleagues.
  • The ability to develop and use new skills
  • The right amount of money (or even more)
  • Great colleagues
  • A good balance between work and home life able to switch off from work when not working.
  • A great work environment – a nice place to work with great facilities
  • A convenient location – little or no commute or great things near bye.
  • The company does or produces something the world needs.

If you can find one or more of these, quitting and moving to a new job might be more attractive.

It may also help prevent you from taking up a new job with a number of these missing.

When quitting might not be a good idea

How long do you want to be unhappy?

That’s an easy question to answer– not long.

But

Life isn’t always that simple. Bills to pay, nothing to move to etc., means we often need the job we hate.

Quitting may create a new problem if

  • There is no job or no site of a job to go to.
  • You need the money.
  • You have no financial safety net to give you the time and space to find another income
  • You have significant debts that need to be paid.

You might well be on the no job no money roundabout if you jump at the wrong time.

To have the greatest chance of success, you will need a GAME Plan not just for the next move but for all areas of your life to start living the life you do want.

It won’t necessarily be easy, but it will likely be better than where you are. If where you are is unhappy.

Figure out your life and work goals.

What do you want out of your life, and what’s going to help you get it?

A plan might well help.

If you have tried no plan so far, how has that worked out?

You can think of goals in terms of

  • short term within 12 months (finding a new job maybe)
  • Medium-term 1-5 years away (house, marriage, career, retirement)
  • Long-term 10 plus years out (all of the above and more)

Your Goals need to be clear and specific to you. Not what everyone else wants but what you really want.

Given the right plan, your goals need to be within the realms of possibility. If they are too farfetched too soon, buying into them emotionally and psychologically may not be easy as you don’t believe you can do it.  

They need to be feelable, i.e. you will know when you have reached them. Just being happier might not cut it if you don’t know what that means or looks like.

If you were happier, what would that look like, how would you feel, what would you be doing?

Your goals also need to have some timings around them. When would you like them to happen?

If you say tomorrow, that might not be realistic, but if you said in 12 months that might well give you a list of things you need to do in the meantime to make it happen.

Take action every day

Now you have some Goals and a rough timeline, you can work backwards from the goal to figure out what needs to happen.

You might need to:

  • Find out about courses to develop your skills
  • Get down the library to read up on the area you would like to move in.
  • Look for the job you would like and understand the gap between where you are now and need to get it.
  • Start saving for an escape fund now

If the gap seems big, what can you do to make it smaller, break it up into more manageable tasks, set a longer timeline?

You are bound to come up with challenges on the way, some of which will seem at first to have no answer.

  • How might you get over, under or around the obstacle?
  • Do you know anyone who might know?
  • Is there a book, course, podcast or YouTube video/s that might help with the answer

A good way to think about the challenges that are going to come is that you don’t need to have all the answers now.

You just need to figure out your next move, no matter how small. And then after that, the next.

And be kind to yourself; errors, wrong terns and circling back are all part of zig-zagging to the right job.

Understand your finances

Can you afford to quit?

Understanding your finances will help you determine if quitting is a real option or might lead to further problems without some preparatory work.

Get to know YOUR numbers (no matter what they look like)

  • What’s your net worth? – everything you own minus everything you owe.
  • How much of your salary do you get to keep after paying everyone else? – your savings rate.
  • How much do you spend every month? – your spending plan.
  • What’s your freedom number? When might paid work become optional for you?

These numbers will indicate how healthy your finances are or where the action is needed asap.

If you have significant debt, you might want to act on that asap as with expensive debt, your finances are unlikely to go anywhere – and debt certainly isn’t going to help when quitting a job.

Having a good safety cushion or emergency fund will help make choices around quitting a little easier. You will have money to cover you until you find the next job – or at least delay any panic move to accept any old job.

If you are in serious debt then these organisations may be able to help Stepchange & CAP

Make sure any short-term actions align with long term goals

Once you have a plan in mind its time to execute it

  • Clarity on your short and long term goals around work and life
  • Figured out what actions you need to take to improve or get out of your situation.
  • Understood if you have the funds to quit, need to make cutbacks or need to strengthen your finances first.
  • Execute your plan with an eye on any short-term actions aligning with your long term goals.

If you quit on bad terms, this might have a longer-term impact on future jobs or relationships.

Ideally, you can leave on good terms (even if they aren’t really), but everyone gets to keep their cool.

  • If you thought you needed additional skills to get on that course, read that book get that coach.
  • If you think you need more money – start saving and cut down on what you don’t need, ask for more money or start a side hustle.
  • Update your cv, LinkedIn profile, reach out to contacts for work and start applying for other jobs.

Whatever feels like the best thing to do in the above or other ideas, you start taking action.

Planning and action will nudge you out of a job you hate and into one you like.

It’s ok to zig-zag your way to the right one, but it’s probably not to just sit there.

Summary table: Unhappy in my job what should I do?

AspectQuestions to AskAction StepsThings to Consider
Self-AssessmentWhy am I unhappy? Is it the job, the environment, or something personal?Identify the root causes of your unhappiness.Your unhappiness might be due to multiple factors.
Talk to ManagementHave I discussed my concerns with my manager or HR?Schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns.Keep the conversation professional and focused on solutions.
Financial StabilityCan I afford to quit right now?Review your finances, savings, and debts.Consider your financial obligations and safety net.
Job MarketWhat are my prospects for a new job?Update your CV and start job hunting.Research the job market in your field and location.
Skill DevelopmentDo I need to acquire new skills for a job change?Enroll in courses or workshops.Consider both hard and soft skills.
Long-Term GoalsHow does this job align with my long-term goals?Revisit and possibly revise your career goals.Make sure your actions align with your long-term objectives.
Exit StrategyHow should I leave my current job?Draft a resignation letter and plan the exit.Try to leave on good terms for future references.
Should I quit my job if I am unhappy?

FAQ: Should I quit my job if I am unhappy?

Is it bad to quit your job if you’re unhappy?

No, quitting your job is not inherently bad if you’re unhappy.

Life is too short to spend in a role that doesn’t fulfil you or contributes to your unhappiness. However, weighing the pros and cons and considering your financial situation before making such a significant decision is crucial.

Remember, quitting your job is a personal choice only you can make, but it’s always good to have a plan for what comes next. 🌟

What to do if I am unhappy with my job?

If you’re unhappy with your job, the first step is to identify the root cause of your dissatisfaction.

Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, consider discussing it with your manager or HR department to explore possible solutions.

If the situation doesn’t improve, you may want to update your CV and start looking for new opportunities. Always have a plan in place before making any drastic moves. 🌟

Is it normal to be sad to leave a job?

Absolutely, it’s entirely normal to feel sad when leaving a job. Jobs are more than just a paycheck; they often involve relationships, routines, and a sense of identity. Even if you’re excited about your next chapter, it’s natural to experience a mix of emotions as you say goodbye to colleagues and a familiar environment. 🌟

Is it OK to just quit your job?

Technically, quitting your job is OK if you feel it’s the best decision for you.

However, it’s generally advisable to consider the implications, such as financial stability and future employment prospects. If possible, try to give notice and leave on good terms to maintain a positive professional reputation.

Always weigh the pros and cons and have a plan for what comes next. 🌟

Is it wrong to quit a job without another one?

It’s not necessarily bad, but it could be riskier depending on your circumstances.
If you have highly desirable skills, great connections and a good safety net, it might be ok to quit if you think another job is not that far away.

Is it better to resign or be fired?

It’s better to resign; this way, it’s on your terms.
Getting fired means you have to explain this to the next job.
Getting fired also means the reference if you get one is unlikely to help with getting another one.

What are the signs you should quit your job?

You don’t like it (difficult one this as we are all bound to dislike parts or the whole job at some time)
You’re not good at it and don’t care to get better.
The world doesn’t need what you are doing.
You’re not well or at least reasonably paid for it.
You know there is or have been offered something better out there.

What to do when you hate your job, and you can’t quit?

Get yourself a GAME PLAN to get out of this situation and into the life you do want.
Save as much as possible to build a financial bridge between this and the next job.

What to do when your job makes you miserable?

Get yourself a GAME PLAN to get out of this situation and into the life you do want.
Start saving for an escape fund.
Look for ways to improve your job, training, new projects and/or different assignments.

Summary: Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy?

Assessing where you are and if you can do anything about the job would be a good place to start. Then, maybe it might not require quitting.

Figure out what good looks like, then you can see if you can get that in your current role/company, or a bigger change is going to be needed.

It might not be a great idea to quit if it will create a whole set of new problems. Commonly these might be around money and the lack of it now your income has stopped. So think carefully about quitting without a safety net.

Figuring out your long-term goals might well help with your short term moves also. How might your current actions lead to what you really want in work and life?

Start taking action towards what you do want. Courses, personal development or coaches may all be part of your escape plan.

Get to know your finances. How is what you have helping you to escape or keeping you trapped? Get your money sorted so it can free you from the current job and one day from the need to work at all.

Execute your plan, go straight to what you really want or, as is more common, zig-zag your way to the right job for you, something you love doing, your good at, the world needs and you get paid for.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on should I quit my job if I am unhappy; let me know yours in the comments below.

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